Dreaming With The Big Boys

Design News has posted an article discussing the future of simulation systems as integrated product design and test tools (among other things); a subject that’s near and dear to me. It’s a nice article and well worth the read. From the entry:

Bevilaqua gained insight into some of Lockheed’s stickiest design issues. He learned about the advantages of shortening the turn radius of the F-35 and found ways to use software to cut the qualification times for air-to-air refueling of the F-18. He also applied his game expertise to the study of so-called “viffing” (vectoring in forward flight) on the AV-8B Harrier, thus improving the aircraft’s maneuverability.

“Sometimes, you can know the equations, but not really know the physics,” Bevilaqua notes. “That’s what the games did for us: They taught us the real physics behind the equations.”

All that from playing videogames. That’s a pretty powerful statement.

You’ll also see three letters pop-up in the article: PLM. They’ve been getting some play here over the past month or so, but I now consider “product lifecycle management” a limited way of defining the potential for this kind of software integration (I’ve already written a first draft for an entry to be posted on the SLSalon blog that deals with this – should be up within the week). I suspect a new definition for what this stuff is morphing into will eventually emerge – I don’t think of people as products.